May 2018

keep throwin' that deadfish, and we'll forgive you anything Wade
Posted by jemanji on 05/31/18
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. The Mariners have fallen out of the razor-sharp mode that we'd all basked in so luxuriantly the last few weeks.  The main culprits here:  a failure to punish 7+ ERA fish Matt Moore with BB and HR, and an implosion of the "2nd bullpen" to botch a sloppy 4-2 lead in the middle innings.  Lots to enjoy even in this one, though: .... JAMES PAXTON showed signs of tiredness, as D-O-V had expected to see shortly.  He threw 117 pitches two games ago, sandwiched around two 105-type pitch count games before and after.  Of course "signs of tiredness" in Paxton's case results in the joyful enemy... Read More
Not throwing 94 yet, but ... he's winnin' games
Posted by jemanji on 05/28/18
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. MARCO GONZALEZ Had his B- game going.  (1) When you come into the game walking 1+ men per 9 innings, and then walk 4 in 6+, that tells you that you weren't having your best day.  (2) Turning from the Esteemed Skeptics to the rest of the crowd:  if you didn't see the game, trust me.  Marc-O missed with several curve balls by 2-3 feet, failed to "teacup" many of his fastballs, and threw maybe 2-3 changeups to the low-away corner all day. He just wasn't sharp. .... Let's not make 4 walks and 4 strikeouts the end of the world, though.  For one thing, it was really 5 K and 3 BB; he fanned one... Read More
But They Still Survive, Even Thrive
Posted by DaddyO on 05/28/18
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Mariners pitching staff has worked it's way up to a team ERA+ of 104. That's quite an achievement considering where they were. It also matches their OPS+, which, of course, has come down. With regard to the hitting, the reason for the comedown is obvious, injuries and the concomitant  slumps that come with the remaining players buckling under the increased load and the pitch-around tactics of their opponents (Mitch Haniger, for example). You figure the recent pitching success has at least partly to do with their recent opposition, often consisting of bottom-feeding offenses, sometimes... Read More
every 87 MPH lefty is the next Moyer. Could this actually be the exception that proves the rule?
Posted by jemanji on 05/27/18
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. About three starts back, Andrew (Malcontent) offered the outRAGEous opinion that Wade LeBlanc had a very nice chance of becoming the second Jamie Moyer.  This is the sort of assertion that is rejected out of hand because (1) every 87-MPH lefthander is the next Jamie Moyer, whereas (2) there have been exactly two Jamie Moyers in all of baseball history, those being Moyer himself and Preacher Roe.  (It so happened we asked the Founding Father whether there are any precedents for Moyer -- soft-tossing lefties who wandered the tundra with survival beards, for 10 years, and then became upper... Read More
Can you imagine such a thing
Posted by jemanji on 05/26/18
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. SSI is back into repairs for a few weeks.  Bet the "under" -- usually their repairs are quicker than they advise me. Until dry dock is finished, though, we get 3 articles on SSI per week -- that will be Sun-Tue -- and we'll use D-O-V the rest of the time (along with Slack) to keep the community percolating, should it so desire.  Here's an article on Span and Colome.  Got another one coming on Paxton's gem last night; it'll be up in an hour.  Come and throw a 1-line potato in the pot, though it be the weekend, should you wish to encourage mad scientists in their endeavors. So, D-O-V the... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 05/26/18
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. SSI is in repairs for a few weeks.  Bet the "under" -- usually their repairs are quicker than they advise me. Until dry dock is finished, though, we get 3 articles on SSI per week -- that will be Sun-Tue -- and we'll use D-O-V the rest of the time to keep the community percolating. Here's an article on Span and Colome.  Got another one coming on Paxton's gem last night; it'll be up in an hour. So, D-O-V the second half of the next few weeks to keep things moving, if thass' OK with you.  :- ) Best, Jeff
Dang it all to heck!
Posted by moethedog on 05/25/18
13 Comments

MLB Trade Rumors has the scoop: M's acquire Denard Span.  We send Andrew Moore and farm lefty Tommy Romero to Tampa Bay. Go back one thread and you will find something that I posted jsut this morning about a potential Span trade.  It reads exactly like this: Span is still a decent 100-ish bat, although this year it is driven by a huge number of walks that might be unsustainable.  He's mostly squishy with the glove in CF AND he would cost you a $4M buyout next season.  Again, we have farm guys for stuff like this. I will have this to say and then sort of stop:  I hate this deal.... Read More
Why can't we have some fastball meat
Posted by jemanji on 05/24/18
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. I asked Cindy, what would she write about the game or season?  She says, Robinson Cano going down reminds her of Ken Griffey Jr's injury in 1995 and the "Refuse to Lose" attitude from all the replacements.  :- )  I dunno about that echo, one way or another, but in 1995 it did seem like a different Scrub every night. On Wednesday, John Andreoli had his family in from Massachussetts (?) to watch him collect his first ML hit and also to make a really critical diving catch in RF, one that not many RF's would have made.  Good on him and it reminded me of Alex Diaz in '95. . PLAYOFFS With two... Read More
Sure as rain, John slides across with the winnin' run
Posted by jemanji on 05/22/18
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. PitchER STALK MODE, Dept. Against Michael Fullmer, it looked like the M's were going down to one of the best-pitched games of the season.  Against Francisco Liriano, it looked like the M's were going to be no-hit (and Liriano did take a no-no into the 7th).  Again Tuesday, the A's had one of their two good pitchers, Trevor Cahill, scheduled and HE had his A+ game in full swing going. All three games, and several before these it seemed like, the M's followed the same recipe: The M's starter battled grimly to keep the deficit right where it was at The M's bullpen came in to lock it down for 0... Read More
unsung heroes again this week
Posted by jemanji on 05/22/18
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. MIKE LEAKE This is a pitcher who -- with 5 different pitches and a decade's worth of strategems under the bill of his cap -- defies triangulation.  Servais laughed about as much in the postgame interview:  "He seems to find a different way to pitch every night." Tonight, at long last, he mercifully had the command on his good plain old fastball back, going 26-for-39 with it and constantly staying ahead in the count with paintballs.  Under those circumstances he's got them guessing, no doubts there, and his (already quality) 81 slider and 85 changeup --- > play up into out pitches. He... Read More
Ouch! Figuratively and literally
Posted by moethedog on 05/22/18
8 Comments

Short and Sweet! 10-Day DL for Gordon Our 2B dudes are dropping like flies:  Gordon on the 10-Day with a fractured toe.  Originally injured it on the 9th, reinjured Sunday.  He may be out longer than 10 days.  That's probably a safe bet, in fact.   So you now have need for BOTH Beckham and Romine. Vogelbach gets the call, which may indicate that Cruz needs some time off.  I would have thought the better call was Andreoli or Miller (to cover 3 OF positions) right now as Healy isn't going to miss many games.  So I'm guessing that Cruz is gimped a bit more than we've let on.  He's 4-29/.480... Read More
have change, will travel
Posted by jemanji on 05/21/18
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. PLAYOFFS WC W-L GB NYY-BOS loser 31-14 Seattle 27-19 On pace for 95 wins LAA 26-21 -1.5 to Sea Orcs 25-22 -2.5 TB 22-23 Doesn't count when you're under .500 . Q.  Is Dr. D worried by the M's Pythagorean splits?  They've scored +209 runs and allowed -204, which suggests a record more like 24-22 than 27-19. A.  In this case, not so much.  For several reasons.   (1) They are #4 of 30 teams in OPS+, and that's not just a cherrypicked stat.  They've got a near-elite lineup.  They are #16 of 30 teams in xFIP; their staff overall (including the Stars Paxton, Marco and Diaz as well as the scrubs)... Read More
Jean "Sudden" Segura
Posted by jemanji on 05/19/18
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. Picking from a long list of the usual suspects, here are several that Dr. DL found especially amusing this weekend: . JEAN SEGURA Batting average with Runners In Scoring Position (RISP) is a junk stat, since usually an AVG looking back here won't predict an AVG going forward.  However, in this case you wonder. Segura is hitting .385 with a whopping .577 SLG in the RISP condition, and also hitting .352 with a .534 SLG in the simple "men on base" condition.  Imagine for a moment YOU are the pitcher.  You are in the midst of the inning in which Heredia-Gamel and/or Dee Gordon have worked their... Read More
How much is too much?
Posted by jemanji on 05/19/18
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. ROBINSON CANO Somebody once said, even if you got a million, you don't got it to spare, know whatuhmean?  Robby didn't have $12M to spare, that's for sure, but he's handling the situation with great class and dignity. I'm a guy who thinks that society judges steroids much too harshly.  From a legal standpoint, I don't mind their enforcing their rule.  From a moral standpoint, this isn't a violation that makes my top ten, as to complaints about pro athletes. I know nobody asked :- ) . BOOMSTICK Taking a wild guess that he's got a bone bruise and that the foot is badly swollen, nice shades of... Read More
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid dept.
Posted by jemanji on 05/19/18
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. JAMES PAXTON IceX threw out the question,  Zeus’ amazing games are when he can punch out batters at will. Was today his standard game? . "Amazing games."  Honestly, if Paxton is working briskly, executing both his fastball (ANYwhere in the zone) and one of his offspeed pitches (LOW in the zone)?  Then what you are seeing is a game-within-the-game as to whether he can get to 2 strikes. With 2 strikes and Paxton executing, the batters will talk about fear ---> not of being retired, but of being humiliated. So the battle is to get ahead 0-1, 0-2 or 1-2 or even 2-2.  He fires the 96-98... Read More
Of emperors and clothes, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 05/19/18
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. From a very healthy list of candidates, we'll pick out a few of our fave whipping boys: . THE KING From my point of view, the 1st inning Friday was a perfect example of the frustrations that Dr. D -- and Scott Servais and Jerry Dipoto -- have been talking about. Time and again he'd go 1-1 on a hitter and then fling a fastball somewhere in the direction of the low-away corner - and miss by two feet.  It's an echo chamber I'm running here, or a tape loop, or pick your metaphor for lousy writing.  But it all adds up to the same thing:  Felix wanting garbage swings instead of crisp one-hop... Read More
Posted by moethedog on 05/17/18
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MLB-TR reviews some of the logical trade targets the Mariners might chase if they are seeking a 2B and keeping Gordon in CF.  I'm not sure this is the direction we go, but it is worth visiting available Cano replacements.  Logan Forsythe, Dodgers:  It appears that Forsythe is available, but  he's been in a two-year slump and it is probably only 50/50 that he's much better of a hitter than Beckham.  Forsythe was a + 2B bat in '15 and '16 (.804, .778) for the Rays, but fell to .678 last season and has been terrible this season.  His $9M salary is just about what the M's are saving with Cano... Read More
saved from the Orc Horde, just in time
Posted by jemanji on 05/16/18
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. MIKE LEAKE Malcontent's view of the situation is as follows: (1) Leake's cutter is best used sparingly, as a strikeout pitch. (2) Probably Leake was so impressed with his 2017 cutter results that he scrapped his 2-seam sinking fastball (which he didn't like anyway) in favor of it. (3) Didn't work.  Hitters see the cutter fine, when Leake piles "responsibility" onto the pitch.  Like Rawls averaging 4.5 per run with 5 carries, but being unable to average it for 22 carries. (4) He should go back to throwing dimes with his his regular fastball. (5) All of which is rendered somewhat moot if he'... Read More
We're pulling Mojician's quote off Slack here
Posted by jemanji on 05/16/18
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. Dr. DL headed out to the ballpark Tuesday night.  (The DL part is more a Cruz-type day to day than a Cano-type see ya next year type).  Picture if you will his Mariner emotional investment banking around the Matterhorn curves at runaway velocity.  No joke, my hopes in the M's fortunes took at least 6-8 turns in an hour tonight :- ) .. SAG 1 The M's had lost the ballgame late when he left.  Are they ever going to string a few victories together, maybe get a couple of games ahead in his WC thingie?  Probly not  (just talking about the way I'm feeeeeling) JAG 2 His wife texted him to turn on... Read More
Will she sink?
Posted by Tuner on 05/15/18
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A ball to the handAnd a troubling suspensionHas troubled our orderand grabbed our attentionOur trump card is goneand morale takes a blowNow on everyone’s mind:‘Who replaces Cano?’Are we doomed to repeatthe mistakes of the past?Is the obvious choicetoo obscure for the brass?Will the Mariner magemake a ‘magical’ choiceand promote from three-Aanother uninspired voice?Will the wheeler draw onefrom the deck ‘o the tradeand surrender too muchfor the deal-ee-oh made?Will we see again overand over Ad naus’the frittering flailingof the not-quite-enough cause?‘Tis the Mariner style --whack from ages... Read More
about to snag another 5 WAR season
Posted by jemanji on 05/12/18
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. After the maddening G-1 loss, Dr. D checked the box score fearfully.  Then the cowardly Dr. D remembered that his fearfully was just a flinch-fully, since this is a very good team we're talking about, for the first time in about 15 years.  Lo and behold, it turned out that the '18 M's had scored a Big Red Machine style 9-5 split of the DH.  James Paxton looms on deck. . FELIX HERNANDEZ Terry, who knows as much or more about pitching as any of us, had demurred on the "Innings Eater" theory on the basis that Felix is not at all capable of locating a fastball.  Point is well taken.  That's... Read More
no sweep in Tigger town
Posted by jemanji on 05/12/18
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. The Mainframe was surprised and very pleased to see a postgame report that aligned with nuance and reality.  The headline of the postgame gave Gonzales credit for solid pitching.  Then, in the story recap for game 2, Kyle Seager referred to the frustration the M's felt at botching a game 1 that they should have won: The Mariners felt they should have won the opening game Saturday, and came out swinging in the finale. "When you lose an emotional game and get a little upset about it, it can fuel your fire a little and bring a little more energy," Seager said. Dr. D won't go too nuts about "... Read More
no, that's not Jean Segura
Posted by jemanji on 05/12/18
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In "Hey Bill" there was an, um, Jamesian idea this week.  Rooted in Farmers' Almanac-style command of baseball history, grounded in logic, and characterized by enjoyment of baseball rather than of numbers. ... Talking about neglected great pennant races,  1966 NL chase would offer a decent book's worth of stories I'm thinking.  Pirates were in first 60 games,  Giants about 100,  the Dodgers who wound up winning it,  27.  Have you ever looked at that Pirates team and figured out how they missed that year? Asked by: Manushfan Answered: 5/9/2018  There is something about the '65 Pirates as... Read More
don't leave your hair lying around just anyplace, Mike
Posted by jemanji on 05/11/18
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. PLAYOFFS WC Contender Record GB [Bos-NYY loser] 26-11 sacre bleu LAA 23-14 Sea 21-14 -1.0 Toronto Blue Jays 20-18 -3.5 Note that all other clubs are .500 or worse, including Cleveland at 18-18, Minnesota at 15-18, and the Orc Horde.  6 teams have terrible records and several teams have records worse than .333. Note well that Houston is technically behind LAA. Note carefully that of the four teams in "pennant" contention, one is Toronto.  Whose clock we just cleaned!  On the road, with the 2 wins being Paxton's no-hitter and Thursday's "tripling" of the score on them.  Let them try to... Read More
he's scorin' mooooooooooore
Posted by jemanji on 05/11/18
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. DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS As if to underline Dr. D's magical understanding of the game of baseball, the first inning was a hysterically lucky one for the Mariners. - Juan Segura led off with a seeing-eye grounder single that had about a 70% chance of going for an out - Mitch Haniger struck out.  (Hey, click over to D-O-V and look at the image there showing Happ's command of the AB.) - Robby Cano pulled a seeing-eye ground ball single, through a shift (but with the 1B holding the runner), that had about a 70% chance of being a double play, INNING OVER, DIFFERENT BALLGAME - Nelson Cruz popped up... Read More
game of inches, huh
Posted by jemanji on 05/10/18
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. ZEN MANTRA Baseball is not a "game of inches."   Baseball is a "game of luck."  Curse baseball.  Curse it to the depths. . PRE-GAME SUBPLOT Dr. D had whined and moaned when JeDi rostered the #407 starting pitcher on Bill James' Fantasy Newsletter, Wade LeBlanc ... who proceeded to idle in dry dock, unused, for the first two weeks of the season. However, JeDi's plan became apparent when the M's first rotation injury occurred on day 16* of the season (loosely speaking, which is all Dr. D ever does these days).  JeDi turned up his nose at Rob Whalen, Ariel Miranda, Andrew Moore and Max Povse,... Read More
And an ESPN junk stat
Posted by jemanji on 05/09/18
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. Q.  What did the Mainframe like best about Zeus' lightning storm? A.  Some very kind amigo on D-O-V referred to the idea that it's fun to see a game through somebody else's eyes.  For some reason that just pinned me to the back of my seat.  At this point, it's not always necessarily the case that we can tell you anything you don't know about this roster.  But it can be info-taining to compare points of reference. I'll remember that!  :- )  Thanks Gentle Denizen. ... Paxton came out with casually dominant body language, the "Ain't No Thang" feel that we've been longing for.  Usually, even... Read More
hurting the ball club? NEVAH
Posted by jemanji on 05/09/18
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. Q.  We know Dr. D loves his summary stats. Pax is 2-1, 3.40 heading into May (the M's being 5-3 in his starts) and we have talked about how he spent 50% of 2017 pitching out of rhythm.  You see how he gains momentum as he strings healthy starts? 3.40 would be plenty to finish top 10 in the league, but of course it's headed way South from here.  His slash line is 12.7 / 3.6 / 0.9.  Funny thing is, while he's in stride like this you almost feel he could sustain that line.  It would be comparable to Chris Sale last year, 12.9 / 1.8 / 1.0 which gave him --- > 7.7 WAR. Pax is at 1.3 WAR so... Read More